Spring is in the air and we have so much good news to share!
Let’s start with Window Wanderland Forres when we asked you to celebrate Valentine’s Day by decorating your windows around the theme of ‘Love is…’ It certainly struck a chord with over 100 window displays in the streets of Forres, Findhorn, Kinloss, Dyke and Rafford with an estimated 300+ people of all ages taking part.
Community organisations and local businesses got involved bringing a real community feel to the project. Over 80 pupils from local primary schools joined forces with Macbeth’s Butchers, Forres Credit Union, and the Forres Police Station who displayed the pupils’ artworks in their shop windows.
Constable MacDonald, Forres Local Policing Team said: “Everyone showed great Community spirit which has brightened up the town of Forres during such challenging times.”
In summary, it was a huge success and wonderful to see the efforts that people were prepared to make to brighten up the cold, dark February nights. The message of love, hope and community certainly lifted all our spirits. Head to our website to view our Window Wanderland gallery.
Many people have asked if it will become an annual event in our cultural calendar – be great to do it again, so watch this space!
Another piece of good news … phase 3 of our digital music-making Youth Music Initiative REMIX has started with 5 new young music-makers joining our (re)mix family! This time, we’ve added singers, a songwriter, bass players, guitar, piano players, a drummer producer, and a DJ into the mix!
They’ve had a session around ‘how to approach funding’ led by Jennifer McGlone from Glow Arts, who took the group through Creative Scotland’s ‘Nurturing Talent – Time to Shine Fund’. We will be encouraging and supporting group members to make an application to this fund.
We’ve also had our first session with 12-16 year olds from Aberlour Youthpoint Moray. This session was all about getting to know each other and we talked about life, the universe, and, more importantly, MUSIC!
Places for this term are now full but we will be announcing news of a new digital music initiative for young people in the coming weeks.
But there’s more … come and join us on Friday 12 March at 4pm at Culture Café. The theme of this networking session is How do we maintain public creative practice when there is no public?
Our recent artists-in-residents of our Creative Work Shop programme – David Sherry and Robbie Coleman & Jo Hodges – will share their experiences of their residencies. There have been various versions of ‘lockdown’, and after a delayed beginning to their residencies, our artists found themselves in an uncertain environment having to find ways of adapting and responding to ongoing and constantly changing restrictions. To find out more and to be part of what will no doubt be a lively discussion, come and join us.
Culture Café is open to all Moray-based artists and creative practitioners. It is FREE but registration is essential to receive the link to join us. Full details here.
Creative Work Shop is our residency programme, which sees creative practitioners working with the local community to respond to themes of Place & Regeneration.
And finally … we have secured funding of £300,000 from Creative Scotland’s Culture Collective Fund to help shape the future of local cultural life since COVID-19.
Entitled Combine to Create, this will result in a multi-arts place-making project, developed in partnership with Moray communities and artists and supported by key community and cultural organisations.
Combine to Create will test new ways of working, bringing together artists and communities to develop and collaborate on programmes of creative activity through a series of seven artist residencies. The project will be open to community hubs across Moray, and there will be a call-out to nominate local community spaces for inclusion through an Expression of Interest so keep an eye on our social media!
We’ve chosen to work with community hubs because they are the lifeblood of the community and are key to supporting our communities in their recovery from Covid-19.
Each residency will conclude with a community celebration, which will showcase the creative response of the artists and community. As well as re-engaging and reconnecting with the wider local community, we are certain that Combine to Create will leave a lasting legacy in Moray.
Keep an eye on our social media for updates. So a busy time is ahead for us! Phew… get the kettle on!